Easy. Just pump up those cold call numbers and tack on a couple more hours to their days. Kidding. Don’t do that. Please.
If you’re charged with overseeing or improving the revenue growth of your business, it makes sense that improving the performance of your sales team might be keeping you up at night. In fact, most of your meetings and decisions will be based solely around the objective of increasing your revenue, but achieving that objective can have a lot of factors and costs.
- Those sales results can look like increased monthly recurring revenue (MRR), decreased time-to-close on opportunities, or increase in subscription-format sales over one-time purchases.
- And the costs can look like a burnt out team, which means low morale in the office, more time spent, and lower close rates.
The best CROs and Sales Leaders find ways to improve on those identified sales pipeline metrics while mitigating costs.
Some of Story Block’s tactics to increase sales results without burning out our beloved sales team can be seen below:
Ask for referrals
Referrals can be a gold mine of untapped sales happiness. For any unaware, a referral is simply when you ask a current, happy customer to recommend your service or product to a peer. It’s well known that word-of-mouth and referral marketing is among the most effective forms of marketing.
- 84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process with a referral. (Influitive)
- People are 4x more likely to buy when referred by friends. (Nielsen)
- 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer products and services. But, only 29% actually do. (Texas Tech)
Putting the referral play into action
It’s important that your referral strategy is both personal and actionable. Leverage the technology your sales team is using to complete these simple steps:
- Identify happy customers. Build a list in your CRM or put them in a spreadsheet. In the next column over, identify the team member that has or had the strongest relationship with that customer.
- Draft up an email that thanks the customer for their business and relationship. Note the impact that your company has received from special customers like them. Let the customer know that when they help you grow, you’ll be more equipped to deliver better service. Allow space at the end for your team member to include a couple of personal sentences. Finally, place your ask, loud and clear: “Can you connect us with any of your colleagues who we might be able to help?”
- If it works out, you’ll have a much warmer lead than any inbound opportunity converting on your site. Ensure proper handoff occurs and then it’s up to your sales team to leverage that relationship for success.
Upsell current customers
Upselling is asking a current customer to spend more money on a product or service of higher value than what they’re currently receiving. Your CFO will love this move: The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% (Marketing Metrics, Farris, Bender et al).
There are a couple ways of identifying your targets for this. The first group you might target are happy customers. Leverage any value already returned, and play up the benefits they’ll see when they upgrade to a higher tier of services or to another product.
Next, consider the customers that might not be happy. Decide if they’re unhappy because they belong in a different product tier that has more features and reach out to the customers that fit that description. Just be tactful with your messaging in this case.
To some, upselling has a slimy, used car salesman-esque connotation. When done right, upselling is about helping, and it’s a win-win. It provides more value to the customer, deepens the business relationship, and increases lifetime-value.
Diversify your Offerings
If one of your older products is performing poorly, consider replacing it with, or adding a new offer that your brand can successfully take on.
This isn’t a tactic that every business can seamlessly roll out to boost sales results, but can help you fill a need that your prospects have already expressed. If you listen to your potential buyers and incorporate those needs into your new offer, this business move can have long-term, sustainable benefits.
Consider that this will put a strain on your marketing and product teams in the short-term, but demand will be generated from current and new customers once the market learns of the new product, ultimately creating a lighter lift for your sales department.
Beware: this is a high risk, high reward move. Solving problems no one else in the market has solved isn’t easy, but if you can, your sales team will hit the easiest quotas of their careers.
Automate sales sequences and simple outreach efforts
Your sales team works hard to foster relationships and help prospects. So, have you considered that some of this process, as manual as it seems, can be automated and lined up for them to knock out in a fraction of the time it once took?
Four ways sales automation can help:
- Timed communication sent to users who view more than three pages in a single session on your site.
- Templated emails with personalization or suggested call scripts served up to sales reps who follow up inbound leads.
- Keep tabs on warm leads with live-updated, real time lead scores based on their engagement on your site or with your outreach emails. This can define the list of leads that your team members work every day.
- Enrich data from 3rd party platforms so that your sales team has a better view of who their leads and prospects are without having to do extensive research.
Naturally, this requires some nifty sales tech, and choosing the right one could be a daunting task. We can help with that in our post on choosing the right automation software for your sales and marketing team.
Use a CRM to illustrate opportunities to improve in the pipeline
Customer Relationship Management tools are here to stay and they allow you to collect data on your leads and prospects, segment them into important lists, and communicate with them accordingly. They have shown a staggering ROI of 871%, and they generate 41% more revenue per sales rep.
Sales leaders especially find value in the visualized funnel, basic to many CRMs. They allow you to see how close leads are to making a purchase, but more importantly, they allow sales managers to identify dropoffs at scale. From there, your sales reps can report on each lost lead. You’ll learn as much from the lost deals as you will from those deals won, and that data can and should educate your future strategies.
If you don’t have one yet, learn how to choose a CRM here.
Means to an End
You will find that this puzzle has many solutions. These are just five common ways that Sales Leaders get more bang for their team’s buck. It all boils down to that light at the end of the tunnel, sustainable revenue growth. If you want more insight on the inner workings of your sales team, check out our post, 5 Ways to Increase Sales Conversion Rates.